The Varnhold Vanishing
The Varnhold Vanishing is a Quest in Pathfinder: Kingmaker.
- Defaced Sister
- Shortly after repelling the ancient curse up on the Bald Hilltop for the third time, you will receive a letter from Jamandi Aldori. Upon entering your throne room, your advisor will give you the letter and briefly explain it's contents - it seems as if the whole population of Varnhold has mysteriously vanished. The advisor will ask for your reaction, to which a chaotic character may choose to initially dismiss the affair (though this quest remains essential). In any case, after finishing up the conversation, the quest begins.
- Travel across lake Silverstep and through the mountain pass, continuing north to reach Varnhold. If you had tried to travel here previously, the guard escort are gone, and as you would soon find out, so too are the people inside the town itself. If it's your first visit, explore the town as necessary, otherwise the only difference is that two swarms of crows now occupy the far eastern side of the map, between the graveyard and the river. When you're finished, cross over the river and head to the east side of the fort, and click the icon to move to the next area.
- After entering the fort, you will soon come under assault from a group of spriggans. The enemies here should be fairly easy to dispatch. Explore the area to your leisure and continue to fight your way north, and eventually enter the fort itself. Once inside you will find more spriggans and some more sparse loot, which becomes more lucrative if you have bought a companion with high trickery to pick some locked doors. Follow the rooms in a spiral path, with an optional room to the north of the room that heads south, and then enter into a small central room with a bear statue. Activating the bear statue will give you a path back outside. Before heading up the stairs, Save, heal up, and place any buffs you may find necessary as you will need to prepare for a fight against a mini-boss.
- The leader of the spriggans, Agai, awaits at the top of the stairs, and will immediately begin conversation with you as you enter the upstairs area. He will make his hostilities known, and if you pass a Diplomacy check, will complain about how you had forced the group from their homes, and even now refuse to leave them alone. Regardless, combat will begin, and the fight can be a little tough, but nothing as difficult as many of the fights so far through the game. Eventually, after you have dealt enough damage to the enemy's party, he will surrender for negotiations. Here, you can attempt both a Diplomacy and Intimidate check to encourage Agai into co-operating with you and heeding sense. If these succeed, or if you attempt and fail the diplomacy option with Tristian in your party, Agai will be persuaded to give you the location of his former home, Overgrown Cavern. You then have several options of how to wrap things up with Agai. Lawful characters can try to patch things back up with the spriggans - otherwise, you have either the Chaotic Good option to let them go whilst warning them not to return, or the Neutral Evil choice to continue the fight, though an additional spriggans will join the frey. Wrap things up, and loot the place to pick up, amongst other loot, two interesting letters - an unfinished one addressed to you that explains how Wilas Gunderson had uncovered a mysterious amulet, and abruptly ends with the phrase "VORDAKAI VORDAKAI VORDAKAI", and a second letter addressed to Maegar Varn, warning him not to ally himself with you. Head back outside, and leave the fort. As you are doing so, a crow will grab your attention, seemingly speaking to you. As a Chaotic Neutral option, you can attempt a Dexterity check here to pelt the crow with a stone, but regardless, it will fly away.
- Continue heading back out of Varnhold, and return to the map screen. Your next stop, though somewhat optional, is the aforementioned Overgrown cavern. If you didn't get Agai to reveal it's location, you can easilly find it by heading back south, down the mountain range that you had crossed over from, and you should discover it to the west of where the river begins to bend inwards. Upon arrival, you should spot some barbarians just ahead. Walk forward, and one of the Barbarians will initiate dialogue with you. If Amiri is in the party, she will help grant you passage without much trouble. If not, however, you will have to negotiate with the Barbarians. If your PC is Human, Half-Orc, or Dwarf, you can claim to be the Baron, and they will grant you passage, though this will require a Diplomacy check if you are any other race, unless you also have Valerie in your party, who will also help in granting you passage. Beyond that, there is a second diplomacy check, a bribery option for 100 gold, or an intimidate check that, if failed, will lead to a fight breaking out. Continue on, and veer to the west for a bit more loot, and some more Barbarian NPCs, including Bolga. If she's friendly, you can speak to her to gain knowledge about a cleric named Dugath leading an expedition nearby, and their location at Kellid Barbarian Camp, as well as confirmation that it was these Barbarians who had forced the spriggans out. If you had chosen the Lawful option with Agai earlier, it is also possible to convince Bolga to leave with either a Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate option. Failing the intimidate option will, like above, also result in a fight against the Barbarians. When finished, be sure to explore the rest of the cave to snatch up any remaining loot, and then head back out.
- Now that you should be back on the map screen, if you look to the far eastern edge of the map, you now have a new location marked on your map, which is the location of the Kellid camp. Head back to the node just south of the Obsidian Stele, and follow the path of east, east, north-east, north-east, south-east, and north-east. Enter the camp and head northways to activate a book event. You likely had a random encounter on the way which involved you meeting a barbarian named Nober and his entourage, including a sick barbarian woman. If you had done so, and resolved it peacefully, he is mentioned within the book event as welcoming you in. Within the event, Dugath will insist you spend the night here in the camp, and you will begin to be presented with choices. If Amiri is present in the party, she will suggest you copy her actions, and you will unlock the option to do so, which will give you a path through the first option. If not, choose the 4th option to spill the wine, then pick the second option to ignore the cloaked woman, and for the final choice any option other than the magic tricks. This involves passing either a Diplomacy or Athletics check, unless you have a bard in the party, in which case another option will be available to play a bard's song, which is another pass.
- With the book event now over, it will skip to the next morning, and you will overhear a conversation between Dugath and an NPC named Defaced Sister. An argument will play between them, where it seems that the Defaced Sister is begging Dugath to help her sisterhood, whom she had felt were in danger, with Dugath refusing to risk the lives of his fellow tribesmen and flippantly disregarding the mission the group had apparently been sent upon. The Sister will leave, and Dugath will turn his attention to you. There's a lot of dialogue options to exhaust here, but to continue, simply ask him what he means when he says you can both be of use to each-other. He will tell you that if you can help him with his 'witch problem', either by finding the artefact they are looking for, or by 'getting rid of them forever', he and his tribe will be indebted to you. The conversation will then end, allowing you to explore the camp, and will also begin the quest The Lost Relic.
- Now walk over to the Defaced Sister from earlier. She will open the conversation by asking for your name, but be sure to decline mentioning it - a crow sitting on top of a nearby tent is listening in, and this can have consequences later on. Again, there are plenty of dialogue options to exhaust if you so wish, but otherwise, inquire about what the argument you had witnessed was about, and then follow up by asking where you can find the three other missing sisters. The Defaced Sister will happily mark the next locations you need to visit on your map. Wrap up the conversation, gather your party, collect any unclaimed loot, and if necessary, trade with the merchant to lighten your load, and then follow the steps of Along the Cold Trail.
- After the fight that occurs at the end of Along the Cold Trail, assuming you had convinced Dugath to stand down, you'll first want to sell any loot to the merchant, and then loot everything from your combatants and sell whatever you don't want, too. Next, speak to Dugath, and he will lament the deaths of more of his tribe members, saying how he had expected this outcome from the Sisters. He will also discover what you had discovered in the Forsaken Mound - that they aren't even human anyway. Further, he'll mark on your map where you should head off to next - The Valley of the Dead, and clue you in on how you will need to take the incense you had collected there. He will then bid you farewell, though you can use this opportunity to attack and kill him anyway. Doing so can net you a very cool weapon, too - a +5 Vicious greatsword, which would be excellent in one of your party member's hands. If you had fought Dugath, he will still give you the relevant information anyway, but in a much more hostile tone. Either way, the camp will now be emptied out, and it is time to move on to the Valley of the Dead. To continue on with the quest, now follow the steps of The Lost Relic.